In our new report, we’ve explored how OEMs can make the most of the Intel’s new Ultrabook category. One of the challenges for vendors entering this market is that Apple’s Macbook Air – an Ultrabook-like product in all but name – has occupied this space for some time. As we’ve seen in the tablet market, without a product that is clearly differentiated in terms of either price point or features, taking away market share from Apple is a tough ask.
Lenovo’s 4-in-1 form-factor approach is a product which arguably stood out recently at CES from the wave of new Ultrabooks launched, and this will serve it well when it arrives on the market in the “second half of 2012”. With a 360-degree hinge Lenovo’s Ultrabook transforms into an uber-Tablet: As one journalist put it: “It’s like Microsoft’s vision for the Tablet PC from 2002. Only good.”
While Apple’s iPad ushered in the tablet PC era, touch hasn’t migrated to Apple’s Macbook form-factor yet. This is clearly where Lenovo saw an opportunity, and the Yoga has succeeded where other touchscreen notebooks have failed in the past. For one, at 16.9mm in height the addition of touch input (which means extra components) means the device is still thinner than many non-touch Ultrabooks. This is twice as thick as the iPad (8.8mm), but a lot more computing power is packed in: 8GB RAM (compared with the iPad’s 512MB) and 256GB storage (against 16-64GB). Furthermore, the extra flexibility in the hinge means the device can strike a number of poses so that touch doesn’t require the user to hold the screen.
So what’s the catch? Well, the device retails at $1199 which is pushing it in the opposite direction from where Ultrabooks need to go to achieve mass adoption. This is the kind of thinking that is needed though in order to go toe-to-toe with Apple though. In our new report, we explore many more ways in which OEMs can make gains in this increasingly competitive space…